SHEKHAR YADAV CHENNAI SATURDAY NOVEMBER 16, 2019 `5.00 PAGES 28 LATE CITY EDITION DELHI — THE WORLD’S MOST POLLUTED CITY ON FRIDAY Delhi’s air quality index (AQI) touched 527 on Friday, the worst in the world according to Air Visual’s AQI data DUBIOUS DISTINCTION FOR KOLKATA, MUMBAI SUPREME COURT SOUNDS ALARM BELL According to the latest data by global air pollution monitoring agency AirVisual, six of the top 10 polluted cities in the world are in the Indian sub-continent — Delhi, Lahore, Karachi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Kathmandu. As per the world AQI rankings, Delhi is followed by Lahore in Pakistan at 234. Mumbai is in the ninth place with an AQI count of 153 ■ ■ The Supreme Court on Friday summoned the chief secretaries of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to apprise it about the steps taken to deal with rising air pollution levels The SC noted that the odd-even vehicle scheme in Delhi has not been effective in reducing pollution level 44% SHARE OF STUBBLE BURNING IN DELHI’S POLLUTION. VEHICLES’ SHARE IS 28% CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOGGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI EXPRESS READ HC ruling on reserved candidates The Madras HC on Friday ruled that a reserved candidate having secured lesser marks than other meritorious ones, cannot supersede them by getting into the general turn | P3 Practice in pink after day’s play India players had a training session with pink balls under lights after the day’s play in Indore to prepare for the day-night Test starting in Kolkata on Nov 22. More sessions are lined up| P18 CBI raids Amnesty offices Bengaluru: The CBI on Friday raided the offices of Amnesty International in Bengaluru and New Delhi for alleged violation of Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act | P6 Pain balm coming for telecom sector Sitharaman says govt is considering a proposal to waive penalties and interest owed by the telcos J AYA N TA R O Y C H O W D H U R Y @ New Delhi THE government is sympathetic to the beleaguered telecom sector and is considering their requests for financial relief, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said here on Friday a day after two of the larg, est telcos – Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel — announced combined second-quarter losses of over `1 lakh crore. Bharti and Vodafone Idea are liable to pay some `92,000 crore in back fees and penal interest to the government after the SC ruling in October widened the scope for calculating adjusted gross revenues of telecom firms to include income from nontelecom related earnings. The FM clarified the government is not in a hurry to collect the dues from the telecom sector as it is yet to decide on relief. Telcos have, for long, been seeking a moratorium on payment of spectrum charges and waiver of penalties and interest on back fees. Even before the Supreme Court judgment, an aggressive rate war had left the sector bleeding with huge exposure to banks. Analysts say bankruptcies are possible given the sector’s huge credit exposure, which stands at a whopping `137 lakh crore. Vodafone International’s investment in the Vodafone-Idea (VIL) joint venture has already been written down to nil and VIL’s debt to equity ratio has risen to a record 4.5 against 1.24 at June-end 2019. The FM also said the government would bring amendments to various relevant Acts to ensure the banking functions of cooperative societies are more strictly regulated by RBI. After the recent collapse of the Punjab & Maharashtra Cooperative Bank, the issue of dual control over cooperatives has been underlined once again. She said discussions were on “on how to use promoters’ properties to help pay back depositors’ money”. @ Mumbai NCP patriarch Sharad Pawar on Friday remained non-committal on the Shiv Sena’s demand for the chief minister’s post in their post-poll alliance, though other leaders in his party were okay with conceding it. Pawar, however, completely ruled out possibility of a midterm poll in Maharashtra. “Everything is at an initial stage at the moment. If anyone has asked for the chief minister’s post, then we will have to think about it,” the NCP chief said as he addressed the media at Nagpur on Friday It was typ. ical Pawar play as he is known , for ambiguity even in the best of times, keeping windows open for policy shifts. A day earlier, his party’s Mumbai president Nawab Ma- lik had confirmed that the NCP had agreed to the Sena’s insistence on the CM’s post. Pawar dodged most questions on the negotiations between his party, the Congress and the Shiv Sena, claiming he was unaware of the details as he was touring rural Vidarbha to take stock of the damage to crops due to rains. “The process (of forming government) has begun. But the talks are in a preliminary stage,” he said without giving a timeline on government formation. “We shall ensure that the government runs for full five years,” he, however, claimed. Asked whether the BJP was holding parallel discussions with the NCP over government formation, he said his party was in talks only with the Sena, the Congress and its allies and nobody else. EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ T’Puram A day after the Supreme Court referred the Sabarimala women entry issue to a larger bench, the Left government in Kerala on Friday said it will not give police protection to young women who want to visit the hill shrine in violation of the temple’s customs. In a major climbdown from its earlier position, the government also warned that temple is not a place for activists to show off. “Young women won’t be tak- en to Sabarimala with police protection. Those who want to climb the hill should come with court order,” Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran told reporters. The decision was taken based on the legal opinion the state received from senior Supreme Court advocates including Jayadeep Gupta, who said maintaining status quo ante would be wise for the time being as the judges themselves were divided on the subject. Status quo ante means restoring the situation before the MEDICAL COLLEGES We want no company to shut their operations. We want everyone to flourish Nirmala Sitharaman, finance minister HIKE IN GUARANTEE FOR BANK DEPOSITS Government plans to increase deposit guarantee limit in case of bank failure from existing `1 lakh Govt will bring a legislation on this in Parliament’s winter session, the FM said, without specifying the new amount Deposit insurance is offered by RBI’s subsidiary Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation. It covers savings, fixed and recurring deposits NO PLAN TO CUT SPENDING, SAYS FM The finance minister said the government has no plans to cut spending on welfare schemes. She added that the government will, in fact, encourage all ministries and departments to spend entire funds provided in the Budget Pawar ambiguous on CM post, but rules out mid-term polls EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE Kerala U-turn on women’s entry into Sabarimala NCP leader Sharad Pawar addressing a press meet in Nagpur on Friday SIDESTEPS QUERIES ON SENA’S HINDUTVA Ducking a question on the Sena’s Hindutva pitch, Pawar said, “We are not against Islam, Hinduism or Buddhism. But we insist on secularism when it comes to running a government.” For its part, the Sena declined comment on where it stands on its earlier demand to award Bharat Ratna to Veer Savarkar Specialist docs in private sector can be visiting faculty IN a decision that opens a new window of opportunity for specialist doctors in the private sector, the medical education regulator has decided to allow them to teach MBBS and PG students in government and private medical colleges. The decision taken by the Medical Council of India-Board of Governors (BOG) is aimed at addressing the crippling shortage of teachers in medical colleges. At present, only full-time faculty in relevant disciplines can be hired. “Full-time faculty, in addition to teaching, are also responsible for clinical care in their college or hospital as well as research,” a senior BOG official told this newspaper. “We thought one way to strengthen teaching intensity and quality will be to augment the re gular strength of full-time teachers with part-time visiting faculty by bringing in 40-45% qualified specialists workshortage ing in the private sector or There are 529 those who are self-emmedical ployed,” the official said. colleges in The visiting faculty proIndia, many vision is a top-up, over of which, and above the regular full especially in time faculty the BOG not, tier II and tier ed in a recent meeting. III cities, have They should have qualifi40-45% cations in line with the faculty guidelines and can be emshortage ployed up to 70 years of age, the regulator said. In fact, second and third generations of AIIMS, which are out of the regulator’s purview, are already experimenting with such an arrangement. “It’s a practical move keeping in mind the ground realities,” said Dr Arun Kumar, principal of N C Medical College in Panipat, Haryana who was previously director of IGIMS, Patna. “It would have been better without the age cap as there is acute shortage for senior-most positions. If a candidate, despite his age, is well suited for a role, he should be considered. It should be decided on a case to case basis.” NO INTERVIEWS SAYS OUTGOING CJI RANJAN GOGOI Bar members can exercise their freedom of speech but judges need to maintain silence, he said in a letter to journalists | P11 A year on, no sign of signboards to help road users A YEAR after Cyclone Gaja wreaked havoc in Delta districts, several signboards on National and State Highways are yet to be restored completely, with many even hanging precariously at several places. Empty frames, damaged boards and signages can be seen on highways leading to Thanjavur, Thiruv a r u r, N a g a p a t t i n a m a n d Pudukkottai. Drivers en route tourist spots and temples are forced to stop of- A damaged signboard on a highway in Thuvarankurichi | MK ASHOK KUMAR The temple will open on Saturday evening. The two-month long annual pilgrimage season commences on November 17 and ends on December 27 ten for getting directions. K Govind, an outstation cab driver said, “Many tourists who come by flights hire cabs to visit places like Velankanni, Thanjavur Big Temple and several other tourist spots in the district. One day, a passenger who arrived from Malaysia and was travelling to Thanjavur suddenly wanted to visit Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary and Bird Sanctuary at Kodiyakkarai. I am familiar only with certain tourist spots and have never gone to Kodiyakkarai. As there was no signboard at many places, I had to stop often to ask for directions. Cab drivers from Chennai are completely perplexed as they don’t know even the routes which I do.” ‘Mobile unreliable’ John, another driver, said, “The trouble can be felt while heading to interior areas from ECR. When we follow mobile maps, we often end up on wrong routes. Fixing the boards P5 will be of great help.” CONTINUED ON: P8 IIT-M SUICIDE FATHIMA’S FATHER MEETS EPS; SEEKS ACTION S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi NO GUIDES HERE A A D H I T H YA M S @ Tiruchy Temple to open today SC’s September 2018 judgment, which allowed women of all ages entry into the temple. After the SC sent the review pleas to a seven-judge bench on Thursday Kerala CM Pinarayi , Vijayan said more clarity was needed on the order. The CPM state secretariat, which met here on Friday, too came to the conclusion that it would be wise to have more clarity before taking a final decision. However, the party will stick to its campaign that it is not against women’s entry . Abdul Latheef, Fathima’s father, submitting a petition to CM Edappadi K Palaniswami in Chennai on Friday Suspects foulplay As there was no suicide note written by Fathima Latheef, her father said he had doubts over the death. E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Chennai AMID protests and a thick police blanket enveloping IIT-M after Fathima Latheef, a first year humanities student from Kerala, committed suicide in her hostel room last week, her father, Abdul Latheef submitted a petition to CM Edappadi K. Palaniswami at the latter’s residence on Friday and urged him to take action against those responsible for his daughter’s death. Speaking to reporters later, he said, “I have appealed to the CM to take action against those who abetted the suicide. I also met the DGP. Both assured me of action based on investigation,” Latheef said. Naming the faculty of the humanities department allegedly responsible for the death, Latheef said, “There was a note on her phone which said the cause of death was Sudharshan Padmanaban. The phone has been taken for forensic examination. We will learn the truth soon. My daughter used to talk to me over phone every day On the . day she died, she did not,” Latheef said. “That there is no letter makes me suspicious whether this was a suicide at all. My daughter had said she was scared of Padmanaban. Even when she had scored lesser than she deserved, it was her friend who took the answer paper to Padmanaban,” P3 Latheef said.
Express Publications (Madurai) Limited publishes the prestigious English language newspaper The New Indian Express from 21 centres in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Orissa.
Express Publications (Madurai) Ltd. also publishes the Tamil daily Dinamani, Cinema Express (Tamil) and Malayalam Vaarika (Malayalam). Through a sister company, Kannada Prabha Publications Ltd., it publishes the Kannada daily Kannada Prabha.
16112019 of The New Indian Express-Chennai
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